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Demographics, ideology and voting behaviour:A factor analysis of state-wide ballot measures

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  • Russell Hillberry

Abstract

Formal dimension-reduction techniques are frequently used to interpret data on legislative voting behavior. This study applies one such technique to countylevel election returns on 11 ballot measures in South Dakota’s 2006 general election. The measures on the 2006 ballot proposed substantial legal and policy changes, and spanned a broad area of the policy space. This and South Dakota’s high voter turnout levels makes it especially well-suited for the purpose of analyzing links between election returns and demographic and economic data. The factor analysis suggests a puritan-libertarian spectrum as the best 1-dimensional characterization of political divisions within the state. A county’s location on this spectrum is most strongly associated with measures of its population age and per capita income. Factor scores are very good predictors of support for the reelection of the incumbent Governor

Suggested Citation

  • Russell Hillberry, 2007. "Demographics, ideology and voting behaviour:A factor analysis of state-wide ballot measures," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1021, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1021
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    File URL: http://fbe.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/802844/1021.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Elisabeth R. Gerber & Jeffrey B. Lewis, 2004. "Beyond the Median: Voter Preferences, District Heterogeneity, and Political Representation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1364-1383, December.
    2. Bowler, Shaun & Donovan, Todd, 2002. "Democracy, Institutions and Attitudes about Citizen Influence on Government," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(02), pages 371-390, April.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • Y80 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Related Disciplines - - - Related Disciplines

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